Stafanie Taylor has been called up to the West Indies squad for this month’s T20 World Cup for a final fitness test.
A veteran all-rounder and former captain who led the West Indies to the title in 2016, Taylor has struggled with a back injury. Her last appearance in international competition was her ODI against New Zealand in September, where she went undefeated for half a century, but retired with an injury after her Player of the Match performance, and will play in July 2021. Haven’t played T20I since.
Taylor joins the 15-man squad announced Wednesday by three other top-ranked players recovering from injuries: Shakera Selman, Chinelle Henry and Chedean Nation. The CWI also said Taylor consulted a back injury specialist in Johannesburg before the team’s arrival on Friday and traveled to Cape Town for further treatment to “start her return-to-game protocol.” He said on Twitter that he did.
“The Cricket West Indies medical team will continue to support and care for Stafanie and we wish her all the very best in her efforts to return to full fitness in time to participate in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup,” CWI added.
West Indies have also called up three players from the side which contested the inaugural Under-19 Women’s T20 World Cup, also in South Africa and won by India on Sunday. Allrounders Djenaba Joseph – who featured in the recent home series against England – and Zaida James were included, as was Trishan Holder, who represented Barbados at last year’s Commonwealth Games.
All three played in West Indies’ eight-wicket defeat to India in their final match of the tri-series in South Africa on Sunday after being called in as cover for those senior players undergoing injury rehabilitation.
“We continue the developmental pathway to grow women’s cricket in the region, hence we feel the time is right to include three of the Under-19 Rising Stars in the squad,” lead selector Ann Browne-John said. “Zayda brings both left-handed batting and orthodox left-arm bowling, both of which have been lacking in the team lately. Geneva is a batting all-rounder and Trishan is a strong striker and wicket-keeper of choice. They have all proven that they can maintain their skills at this level.”
Wicketkeeper batsman Shemaine Campbell becomes Haley Matthews’ vice-captain. The duo is one of his six players to lift the trophy seven years ago, along with Taylor, Selman, Shamilia Connell and Affi his Fletcher.
However, the recent shape of the West Indies is cause for concern. They have not won the last 13 T20Is since last September, and all four losses in the three series ending Thursday’s final between India and South Africa were by a wide margin.
The West Indies, who are in Group 2 alongside England, India, Pakistan and Ireland, will open their World Cup season against England on 11 February at Borland Park in Pearl.
West Indies squad: Hayley Matthews (capt), Shemaine Campbelle, Aaliyah Alleyne, Shamilia Connell, Afy Fletcher, Shabika Gajnabi, Chinelle Henry, Trishan Holder, Zaida James, Djenaba Joseph, Chedean Nation, Karishma Ramharack, Shakera Selman, Stafanie Taylor, Rashada Williams